Thrive Global: What's Next For Abi

I sat down with rising country songstress, ABI, to discuss some her upcoming music and what has helped to inspire her journey thus far.

What is your backstory?

I grew up in Texas, where I discovered my love for country music and musical theatre. From there, I began to develop my passion of the two and ultimately decided I was going to be an artist. I had such a love for writing songs and performing, I was really determined to pursue it as a young girl. I moved to LA at the age of ten, which I believe I have to thank for maturing my musical palette and exposing me to so many cultures and an overall worldliness I feel that I feel bring to my music now. After graduating, I went on a whirlwind tour of 30 or so cities opening up for Kelly Clarkson, where I met Pentatonix, whom I’d open for the following year. In the midst of my touring, I moved to Nashville, and haven’t looked back since! For the past year and a half, I’ve been working on new music and now am ready to begin showing it to the world — I couldn’t be more excited.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that has happened to you thus far in your music career?

I don’t know if it’s necessarily funny, but I think an interesting and honestly monumental moment in my career so far was my tour with Kelly Clarkson. Being a relatively young and inexperienced artist to that degree of touring, it was the most incredible and inspiring few weeks of my life. It was truly the period when I knew I was doing what I was meant to do.

What are some of the most exciting projects you’re currently working on?

Definitely new music. I haven’t released in what feels like eons, and there’s a definite growth in the work I’ve been wrapping up, so it’ll be a serious accomplishment when it’s out and into the world.

Who are the most famous people you’ve interacted with? What was that like?

Spending half my growing up years in LA, the question was more who wasn’t famous or at least trying to be! But I think Kelly, Pentatonix, Us The Duo have all been musicians with amazing success that I’ve learned a great deal from. They’re all amazing people that work their butts off and deserve every little ounce of success that comes their way.

Who inspires you?

I am really inspired by powerful women. As someone who has always aspired to be in that sort of position and hopefully encourage others to be as well, Trail Blazers of the pop-country genre, like Faith Hill and Shania Twain — to my own mother, who is a powerful in a non-music industry — I am in awe of what they have accomplished.

Who do you aspire to be like?

Oops, I suppose I may have answered a bit of this in the last question! I truly aspire to be like the women not only before me, but those of my generation that are making waves in society and knocking down whatever stigmas or challenges they may face and forcing their voices to be heard.

How have you used your success to bring goodness into the world?

I hope that in my songwriting and overall music, the emotions I go through translate to a listener and they can relate and realize they are not alone in those feelings. Music has constantly served as an therapy for me in times of heartbreak, loss, and even the happy times, so I hope that I can bring goodness into the world by helping my listener the way music has helped me.

What are 5 things you wish someone had told you when you first started, and why?

  1. Don’t afraid to be yourself. I’ve found that as an artist, especially a young one, it is easy to get carried away in what you feel other people expect of you. For instance, I’ve written music in times where I’ve felt that I wasn’t writing in my own voice but the voice that I thought people wanted from me.

  2. Allow yourself to be vulnerable when writing with others. When I started to write more with other people rather than on my own, I was in a constant fear to speak up if I had an idea. I still deal with this sometimes, and will introduce lyrics with “this may be stupid” or something, but I deal with it consciously and definitely think I’ve improved on the matter.

  3. Focus on yourself. In such a competitive industry, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others. I’ve found so much more happiness and even success in focusing on myself and my craft rather than worrying about others.

  4. Support fellow musicians. In relation to my previous note, I have found that being happy for others and supporting their endeavors is so much more gratifying, and frankly a whole lot easier, than seeing them as competition. As long as you are a musician beating to the march of your own drum, writing and singing in your own voice, and in general being your genuine self, there’s no competition.

  5. Love yourself. I know this is cliche, but I can’t express how important it is not only as an artist but as an individual to love yourself. Being happy and accepting what you perceive as flaws only lead to success in your personal and professional endeavors. I’ve always been super critical of myself, and still can be, but it’s the moments I’m not worrying about how something looks, or if I’m wearing enough makeup that I find the most inspiration and joy.

Who would you want to share a meal with? Why?

I’m not sure why she was the first person to pop into my head, perhaps because I’m absolutely obsessed with her right now, but it’d have to be Rupi Kuar. Since I was younger, I’ve always loved literature — especially poetry. Her work is incredibly honest, vulnerable, and simply beautiful. Once I would get over my fan girling about being in the same room with her, I‘d love to learn more about how she writes conceptually and the process she does it in.